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  1. #1
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    Insulation recommendations

    I have an HH Exped. I bought it used with the "super shelter" which appears to be an outer bag that hangs around the hammock bottom and a thin foam pad.

    I was just laying in the hammock in the back yard, and it is 90+ degrees out. Under the tarp, whenever the sun would get blocked by a cloud, the breeze would actually give me a bit of a chill as it blew beneath me. That got me thinking. I will be taking a trip by motorcycle from FL to New England around labor day. I am hoping to ride up near the border and may camp somewhere up in Vermont or New York for a night. I planned on taking the hammock as opposed to my usual 2 man tent. Packed size of the hammock with super shelter is comparable to my tent. But when using the tent, there is the full size pad and sleeping bag.

    Since I figure I won't need the pad, I figured I would drag the sleeping bag with me. I also have a few of those "space blankets" from Wally World, and the SS instructions recommend using one under the hammock. The thing is, my bag is one of the less expensive mummy type, and is fairly large, packed. I measured 11" round by 18". Would a top quilt suffice with what I already have? And would it save me much space over the bag? I don't plan on pushing it if I get hit by some real cold weather (motel), but if I did get in a bind, I will have my riding gear, which has proven sufficient to keep me warm down to the 30's on the highway. Actually rode in it at 19 degrees once for about 15 minutes, but was starting to get cold. Hopefully I won't see 75 mph winds in a hammock, though! I don't think it would be all that comfortable to sleep geared up in the hammock, as it is a little cramped in there already...

  2. #2
    Senior Member Rob3E's Avatar
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    Watch the Hennessy videos of setting up the Super Shelter to make sure you're getting it set up right. I've had my hammock into the 50s and 60s with no under insulation. It was chilly, but surviveable. If you are feeling a chill at 90, I would have to think the wind is getting between the Super Shelter and the bottom of the hammock. So step one is to make sure your Super Shelter is doing the best it can do to keep the wind off of your backside.

    After that, SS + pad + space blanket should keep you comfortable, but how comfortable is an individual thing. I haven't had the opportunity to take my SS down below 60 yet, but some folks have gone much colder and been fine. You can also add additional insulation besides the pad and space blanket.

    But that's all underside. What keeps you warm up top is the same that would keep you warm in a tent. Mummy bag or quilt, so long as it's warm enough, should work. If you've got clothes that you know will keep you warm, that's a good safety net, but even that far north, I wouldn't expect overnight temps to approach anything dangerous. Potentially uncomfortable at most, but not if you you get your insulation sorted out.

  3. #3
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    I wasn't using the super shelter at the time. Just the basic hammock. The chill was probably the sweat evaporating...

    After doin more searching on the forum, I am reasonably confident that my "underside" will be covered. Now I'm trying to justify a TQ purchase. The 20 degree Burrow from HG looks to be the ticket for almost anything I am likely to encounter down here in the winter, and much smaller than my current bag.

  4. #4
    Prefers life at 12 MPH. FLRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampwhore View Post
    I wasn't using the super shelter at the time. Just the basic hammock. The chill was probably the sweat evaporating...

    After doin more searching on the forum, I am reasonably confident that my "underside" will be covered. Now I'm trying to justify a TQ purchase. The 20 degree Burrow from HG looks to be the ticket for almost anything I am likely to encounter down here in the winter, and much smaller than my current bag.
    Yep. If you have insulation rated to 20 F, top and bottom, you'll be good for pretty much anything in Florida. Even if it dips down to record temperatures (low teens), you'll still survive the night, even if you're not comfy.

    Going elsewhere in winter is something else, but...

  5. #5
    New Member
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    You're right, the chill you were getting was just evaporation, which is exactly what sweating is supposed to accomplish at 90 F. If you use the undercover with the pad and a space blanket, you get a wind blocker and a vapour barrier, and it won't happen. I've used that with a sleeping bag tossed on top as a TQ and was fine at about 30 F.

    On the other hand, a good bag can go a long way as well. When I first got my HH, I used the basic hammock (no SS) with a warm bag and a crappy blue foam pad folded in half stuffed into the hammock, and that kept me cozy at 0 F. I'm a cold sleeper and a Canadian though, so take that with a grain of salt.

    Anyway, I'm sure if you go to the trouble to set up a legitimate insulation system, you'll be fine.

  6. #6
    BillyBob58's Avatar
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    The TQ will def save you some bulk, assuming it is the same warmth rating and material as you bag. If your bag is synthetic and the TQ down, you save even more bulk. It will save you bulk because it will not have insulation on the bottom.

    A TQ of "X" inches thickness on top should keep you as warm as a sleeping bag of the same thickness on top, except maybe in case of:
    1: inadequate head insulation compared to a mummy bag hood
    2: If the quilt is not wide enough to keep wrapped and tucked around you and avoid drafts. The wider bag ( but wider = more bulk ), even used as a quilt will make it easier to keep tucked, depending on the size of the person. A larger person who moves a lot can really put the tucking ability of some of the more narrow quilts to the test. Most bags are quite a bit wider than most TQs. Plus, if needed you can actually get in and zip a bag up, which solves all draft problems. Even though most find a quilt much easier to get into and use in a hammock. Still, as a last resort.............

    Although a good quilt has it's own advantage compared to trying to use a mummy bag as a quilt. I used to have a lot of trouble with the mummy bag's hood making it difficult to get a leak proof seal around the shoulders and neck. My TQs snap behind my neck and have a draw string to make a nice seal. So I used to have better luck with an actual TQ rather than bag used as quilt. But I finally figured out to leave my mummy bag "snapped at the top, and now I can still get a good seal, possibly even use the hood as designed.

    Also, if the bag is synthetic, and you get inside it, you will get some additional backside warmth compared to a down bag or any kind of TQ.

    So, keeping in mind those possible limitations, the TQ should def save you some bulk.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    New Member
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    A great thing if you can find it is a mummy bag with synthetic insulation on the bottom and down on the top.

  8. #8
    Member
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    Dec 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfer View Post
    A great thing if you can find it is a mummy bag with synthetic insulation on the bottom and down on the top.
    I use a Big Agnes down sleeping bag which has no insulation on the bottom but has a sleeve for an insulated pad. While tent camping this combination has kept me warm down to 15 degrees. I am going to try it in a hammock to see how it works.

  9. #9
    Gideon's Avatar
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    Darien UL w/Dutch hooks, clips, etc
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    Infinite combinations it seems. I have a Marmot Arroyo Down bag. I love it. Works perfectly as a TQ if you unzip it "almost" all the way. Leaving it zipped up a foot an a half makes the perfect foot box and the rest works good as the TQ. the back head piece of the mummy bag actually serves well as a bit of a pillow.

    I like the bag because I can use it for other situations and even the ground.

    On the bottom I went with the 3/4 phoenix.

    As a newbie, the little experience I have would say go with down and be sure to keep it dry. Down is so light and compacts ridiculously small. Just pack it in a dry sack. I recommend Sea-to-Summit dry bags.

    Sounds like a really great trip! Be safe on the bike. What do you ride?

    Gideon

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